Yusei Kikuchi has been working on a split-change -- a ball he's holding like a splitter, but a little more tightly in the hand, with movement like a change-up.
Nippon Ham Fighters
Yuki Saito was taken off the active roster today and is currently scheduled for another Ichi-gun start on 7/11 (vs Rakuten at Sapporo Dome). He'll use the time in between to make adjustments at the Ni-gun training facilities in Kamagaya (Saito plans on working on brushing up his control over his off-speed pitches).
And it seems the Fighters are frowning on a fan that's auctioning off a ball that was probably signed by Saito during his last rehab assignment at Ni-gun.
Manabu Mima was taken off the active roster today with inflammation in his right forearm. Mima began feeling discomfort in his arm after his outing on the 29th (vs Softbank). He was immediately taken to the hospital and diagnosed with inflammation in his right forearm. The Eagles will shut him down for about 3 days and see how he's doing.
Takeshi Yamasaki is scheduled for a follow-up exam on 7/4. If there are no problems, Yamasaki could start playing in some Ni-gun rehab games next week. He also told reporters he wants to do his best to make sure he's ready to play in the All-Star series.
Akinori Iwamura hit a walk-off 2-run double last night against the Softbank Hawks in the bottom of the 10th. Including a walk-off hit he recorded on 8/9/2002, Iwamura now has 2 walk-off hits in his career.
Teppei had a rough April (.204/.291/.204) and May (.162/.205/.235), but he seems to have turned a corner this month (.353/.403/.441).